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I keep reading that people should visit a local club and have their dogs evaluated. (for Schutzhund) Can anyone describe what actually takes place when this is done? (or better yet, have a video) Is there a certain age that most people have this done at? Is it done in one visit?
 

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I keep reading that people should visit a local club and have their dogs evaluated. (for Schutzhund) Can anyone describe what actually takes place when this is done? (or better yet, have a video) Is there a certain age that most people have this done at? Is it done in one visit?

I took Madix to the club I was interested in. I missed tracking because I work third shift so I'm not sure if they would've checked him for that or not. I watched them work their dogs in obedience and then I brought Madix out and kind of showed what I did with him (which was VERY loose obedience). I put him in a long down and saw how he reacted to a stranger (the TD) coming up to him with me away. The TD played with him for a bit and also did a little bit of obedience with him. I put him back up while the rest of the dogs worked in protection. Afterwards, I got him back out again to see how he felt about it. The TD did some approaches and made some "threatening" noises but was overall pretty low-key. Madix barked naturally and eventually went for the bite when he made sure I was ok with it. Did a couple of times of that, he showed that he was willing and able - and (more importantly for me) enjoyed it as well. We were hooked and I've been going back ever since.

Madix is 1.5 yrs old and been exposed to various classes (agility, rally, flyball) and circumstances so what we did with him didn't really scare him at all. There was a Rott pup at training this weekend, 6 months, and his drive was checked with a sock on a string - does he chase it, grab it, tug it etc while "scary" noises are made and some threatening posturing etc. He did bite a puppy sleeve at the end I think.

I don't have video but Lies took some pics of Madix's eval: Flickr: Archive of Liesje_Shepherd_Dog's photostream: Taken on 3rd October 2010 He was also started on a puppy sleeve but he crunched the TD's hand and he had a hard time getting it off so he switched to a "real" sleeve - didn't seem to affect Madix at all. However, I had done some previous training on "hit it" and holding something up between my hands (a jute tug) for him to hit and tug on so he grasped he was supposed to hit the sleeve right away.
 

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When I was looking into a local Schutzhund group they looked at several different things. Although they didn't test my dog as much because they felt he wasn't showing his true colors.(which was true)
First off they greeted him, then they had me do some obedience with him, heeling, sit, stay, lay, etc. Then the trainer took the leash and walked him around a bit, he kicked the gravel dirt(away from Dakota's direction so not to hit him) and saw how he reacted. When Dakota sniffed his boot to check it out he praised him.
Then they got out a toy on a rope and put it around him. He ignored it a bit, because he was stressed. (at home Toy = most important and he will play for hours)
They wanted him to "fight" for the toy. Or in other words want the toy more than anything else.

I hope this helps, I didn't much more into this club for several not related reasons, but this is what they did at the evaluation.
 

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What we do is have the person bring the dog out around the members. We want to see how he/she is in the strange environment and around people. Then we have the handler play with the dog. After that we will usually do a little rag work to see if the dog is interested and maybe some suspicion work to see how the dog responds. We also will test sound sensitivity while the handler plays with the dog. We also interact with the handler to make sure they have a good understanding of the time commitment SchH involves and the rules of our club. If the dog is suitable we tell them. If not we also tell them.
 

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I believe that it is unfair to speculate on a dog's true capabilities, when trying to evaluate them for the first time. (JMO).
Dogs/puppies raised in different environments and limited exposures to certain stimuli...can react & respond uninterested, stressed or suspicious.
example: 12 week old WL puppy came for evaluation. Puppy showed no interest in rag, was completely uninterested in any stimuli (food or play).
After about 1 month (weekends)...a little "switch" turned on...
He engaged in making the "target" move.....and his drives are maturing nicely.
Today at 7mos old, he bites a soft sleeve full, fights strongly and has to be pulled away from the training area. He is confident and eager to work.

So...my opinion is...".Find a club or group that you feel comfortable in training with...and be fair and "honest" about the abilities of your dog/puppy. Give your dog/puppy the allowance to mature, and don't push too hard...too soon."
Not all dogs have the ability for Schutzhund..(true enough)...and a good trainer will be honest with you. There is large commitment on the owner/handlers part....make sure that you can dedicate yourself.
Best of luck!
...this is just my opinion...nothing more..
Robin
 

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I believe that it is unfair to speculate on a dog's true capabilities, when trying to evaluate them for the first time. (JMO).
Dogs/puppies raised in different environments and limited exposures to certain stimuli...can react & respond uninterested, stressed or suspicious.
example: 12 week old WL puppy came for evaluation. Puppy showed no interest in rag, was completely uninterested in any stimuli (food or play).
After about 1 month (weekends)...a little "switch" turned on...
He engaged in making the "target" move.....and his drives are maturing nicely.
Today at 7mos old, he bites a soft sleeve full, fights strongly and has to be pulled away from the training area. He is confident and eager to work.

So...my opinion is...".Find a club or group that you feel comfortable in training with...and be fair and "honest" about the abilities of your dog/puppy. Give your dog/puppy the allowance to mature, and don't push too hard...too soon."
Not all dogs have the ability for Schutzhund..(true enough)...and a good trainer will be honest with you. There is large commitment on the owner/handlers part....make sure that you can dedicate yourself.
Best of luck!
...this is just my opinion...nothing more..
Robin
I agree with this comment 100%.

Because I've seen the same w/some dogs that have come out to our club.. The dog/pup didn't show much interest in the beginning and a couple months down the road it was a totally different picture..
 

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This may seem like an obvious question, but are you taking a white shepherd for evaluation? If you are, I think that is pretty cool. (don't anybody stone me) I would love to see a white shepherd take the field. My passion is standard working lines, but I would love to see the South African Boerboel that received its SchH3 not too long ago. I had an opportunity to catch an Airedale awhile back, and that was awesome...those are a very interesting breed to me. I am looking for an opportunity to catch a Giant Schnauzer....I have been around one, and they are very statuesque.

I say train the dog you have to the best of both your abilities and learn. If you find the right SchH club, the key is dedication. SchH is a lifestyle. If you've found the right club, you/your dog don't have to be good just willing. When you're around the training long enough, many of the ole'hands at the training will always go on and on about how they screwed-up their first dog.....so don't worry and just train for the sake of training. When you're around the training long enough, you'll understand more of what it takes to perform in the work, but more importantly, you'll understand what kind of trainer you are and what that means in terms of what you want in your next dog. Always planning ahead in the training.

Find the right club, train the dog you have, and build a foundation. Keeps me off the streets and out of trouble, I highly recommend it.
 

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W.Oliver...Love your club website!
 

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A lot can be seen in these evaluations if the helper and/or the TD know what they are looking for. Evaluating young puppies is different than young dogs and I, personally, would not be as critical of a pup. Young dogs are different.
 

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This may seem like an obvious question, but are you taking a white shepherd for evaluation? If you are, I think that is pretty cool. (don't anybody stone me) I would love to see a white shepherd take the field.
I always wondered how they do a temperament evaluation at a club...wondered if it was different than what our trainer did. I'd need a lot more confidence as a handler in public before you'd ever see me walking around a field with spectators watching. Maybe when the next pup is older I'll be ready.:)

The trainer we went to has dogs from Czech border patrol lines. (I believe he actually imports to breed occasionally) He does protection, guard, K-9 and Schutzhund training but isn't part of a club that I know of. Anyway...

Both of our dogs were evaluated by him when they were each about 5-6 months old..it's been a long time, I think that's how old they were. Harley got a thumbs up for working dog, he said Annie was a little soft. He evaluated over a 6 week period for Harley and 4 weeks for Annie, just doing different things each week.

So that was it...just curiosity more than anything. Wondering if his methods were different than a formal clubs would be.
 

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I agree with this comment 100%.

Because I've seen the same w/some dogs that have come out to our club.. The dog/pup didn't show much interest in the beginning and a couple months down the road it was a totally different picture..
I agree with this. Heck, I've had dogs like this. They sit and watch protection work for weeks before they really catch on to what all the fuss is about.

When I've watched evaluations at our club, I don't feel like they make a determination about a dog until the dog actually does something positive or negative to indicate which direction it's heading. A dog that just looks politely interested if the person waving around the rag often comes out more as time goes on.

Additionally I don't see much in terms of evaluation for OB and Tracking apart from evaluation of food/toy drive. I think generally people prefer your dog not knowing much of anything instead of coming with a host of bad habits.
 

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I always wondered how they do a temperament evaluation at a club....
How does your dog handle meeting strangers in an unfamiliar location. Confident, open but aloof....or shy, timid and stand-offish?

Does your dog have drive for a toy/tug? If I threw a ball on a rope your dog hand never played with before, would he/she run after it and pick it up?

How is your dog with noise sensitivity? If I shook a bucket of bolts and then set it down, would your dog investigate it or shy away from the strange sound making thing?

I would not let anyone put pressure on my dog at an initial evaluation, not in obedience or protection...it should be an easy look-see. You should be able to leave with your dog's confidence level intact.

Hope that helps.
 

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Hi guys,

I agree with everyone's ideas of evaluating the dogs/pups. In my opinion an evaluation is not normally always the same for me with all dog/handler teams. I have had cases where the dog looked good, and I felt the dog was a pretty good one, however the handler was simply a person that didn't fit into the group. It took me 6 monthes this last time to accept a person into our club, not because we are an exclusive group, but rather because we worked hard to create a good club with a good reputation.

As far as people go, I want to see a person that is actively looking for answers, helps during club training, and basically is a benifit to the group. As far as the pup/dog goes, most of those things were mentioned in earlier posts. Basically, I need to see something I can work with in terms of drive as these relate to a pup/dog before I can give an ok for someone to join our club.

My point is when new people come out, SchH training is generally quite different then anything they have ever done before. I really believe a combination of an intelligent handler, a good club or trainer, along with a nice dog are all needed to have success. If something is lacking in one of these areas, people can certainly compensate but for me it takes several weeks to come up with an good evaluation.

Hope this helps,
Al Govednik
 

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To go along with what Al is saying. Most people come out one time. We do a little bit with the dog, but mostly we are evaluating the person. Unless the dog shows major nerve issues we are pretty encouraging to people. The real evaluation comes later. We require people to come out to the club from start to finish for 4-8 weeks. After that time if they are still showing excellent dedication and we feel they may fit in our club they are allowed to start training their dog/puppy. This period also takes another 4-8 weeks and at this time we are better able to evaluate the dog/puppy plus the handlers willingness to spend the time training. The biggest obstacle for people is that first evaluation period without the dog.

Something that we have now changed is anyone that comes out interested in the club during the winter must wait until we start tracking again before the second half of the evaluation. We have had a couple of people join during the winter who were great when coming to training at 10, but have had a tough time with the idea of 8 AM. As I constantly remind our members, SchH involves 3 phases, not just two. :)
 

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We have had a couple of people join during the winter who were great when coming to training at 10, but have had a tough time with the idea of 8 AM.
Oh dear, that is sad. I have to drive over 100 miles to any type of training like this. I would get up at 3 a.m. if it meant getting to a good club especially if it were close to me. Those of us who don't have access are envious of those who do!!
 

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We had a guy come out last weekend who decided that standing around out in the cold was not his thing. He left after tracking. :rofl: We have had people come out, spend weeks training and then decide that this just isn't for them. The longer I do this the pickier I am becoming about people I am willing to allow into the club. Like Al, we want people that are dedicated to the club, want to help, train and title their dogs, and people that have their own engines (this is a huge problem).
 

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You could always move to MI or back to OH. We allow Buckeye fans in our club. ;)
 

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......I have had cases where the dog looked good, and I felt the dog was a pretty good one, however the handler was simply a person that didn't fit into the group.....
........We do a little bit with the dog, but mostly we are evaluating the person.....
......I have to drive over 100 miles to any type of training like this.....

Well beyond the dog itself, there are other considerations. Straight-up, when I was looking for a club, there were those who really wouldn't entertain a discussion with me because I was new, and my dog was a WG Showline. You'll be facing the new challenge, and then some with a white shepherd. All of that has to be balanced with location and travel, as so many folks put alot of time into just getting to training.

In most cases it really isn't what it seems in regards to any malice....its really about resources/time. A club simply hesitates to make the investment in newbies, as many don't stick with it. If it is a competitive oriented group, then dogs of a certain ilk are preferred, and handlers of a certain experience level are required.

Don't take any rejuection as personal, just keep looking for a club that is a fit for both you and your White Knight!

Good luck, If you ever trial around Michigan, let me know, I'd love to come watch. Photos will be an acceptable alternative!
 
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